NBA Decades Fantasy Draft: The 1970s – The NBA is arguably at one of the hottest points in its history, with collectors and fans alike swarming toward hoops action in droves.
But how about the league’s history? There’s no question that the NBA has a strong lineage and a lot to be celebrated by historians. The rich hobby has kept close ties to legends who are part of so many products today.
With the 2020 NBA Draft approaching, Go GTS takes a look back at the history of the NBA with a fantasy decades draft. Over the next five weeks, four of our scribes will pick one player from each of the 1970s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010s. By Draft’s end, each will have an all-time starting five to be envied.
In Week One, the draft goes back to a groovy time in history. Big hair and even bigger personalities – the 1970s. The decade gave birth to several teams, including the Buffalo Braves (now LA Clippers), Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans (now Utah) Jazz. Midway through the decade, the ABA merged with the NBA, with four teams coming on board – the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers, the New York (now Brooklyn) Nets and the San Antonio Spurs.
The league also had ridiculous parity, the likes of which is rarely seen in roundball. Only two teams were able to capture multiple Championships, and not surprisingly those were the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics; but neither team went back-to-back.
Oh, and the league saw the debut of two players whose rivalry carried basketball through some pretty dark years. That pair – along with two other all-timers, were picked by our experts.
James Gale Selects: Magic Johnson
Standing 6’9”, Magic can play all over the court. He can contribute as a scorer, passer and rebounder. Above average defender that can match-up 1-4. In the playoffs he rebounds and assists at a higher rate than his career averages.
Magic Johnson cards on eBay
Russ Cohen Selects: Julius Erving
Julius Erving is known as “Dr. J”. He started in the ABA, but he’s arguably best known for his play with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he went on a tear for 11 years, scoring 18,364 points and a title in ’83. Small forward with hops and ballhandling skills.
Julius Erving cards on eBay
Rich Klein Selects: Larry Bird
Larry Bird led the Boston Celtics to 3 NBA titles in the 1980s. In addition, he was well known for his killer instinct on the court and could not be fazed in any way.
Larry Bird cards on eBay
Jon Waldman Selects: Pete Maravich
“Pistol Pete” continues to hold the record for points in NCAA Div 1 history. Now, add that he is a four-time post-season NBA all-star amid only 10 seasons of play, was a scoring champ and has his jersey retired by four teams.
Pete Maravich cards on eBay
NBA Decades Fantasy Draft: The 1970s – Image Gallery